Painting a New Me
The pain that you are willing to endure is measured by how bad you want it :
David Goggins, Retired Navy SEAL and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.
There comes a time in sobriety when just being sober isn't enough. With our drinking identity behind us, we ask, who are we? What fills the void left? What can we get excited about? Can we find purpose? Will some level of pride of accomplishment return?
The real beauty is that what each of us possesses is a blank canvas that can be populated with the desire of our hearts. A picture can be painted with dark and dungy colors representing what we've lost over the years—a portrait of shame, regret, remorse, failure, and weakness. OR, a new, vibrant, bright image of the future can be created—a sketch of reconciliation, recreation, and rejuvenation.
We are the ultimate artist of our new selves.
Today we move ahead with new confidence, seeing that we can change to create a new new. We can pick up a brush of limitless possibilities through the grace of a higher power and follow a program for better living.
So, we are sober studs. What now? Anything! – if we are open-minded and ready. There is, in fact, life after drinking! We need to identify our destination and then take steps that move us toward that direction.
Target possibilities could include: becoming a writer, singer, painter, artist, teacher, laborer, tradesman, professional, tennis pro, golfer, biker, swimmer, photographer, actor, chef, meditator, journaler, musician, dancer, designer, gardener, knitter, hiker, hooper, martial arts expert, reader, investor, volunteer, vacationer, community activist or developer, lover, dog trainer, vet, organizer, masseuse, coach, event planner, traveler, confidant, podcaster, YouTuber, preacher, comedian, movie or food critic, bodybuilder or a marathon runner.
Objectives could also be, becoming a great partner, friend, son/daughter, brother/sister relative.
To discover your passions, try this short and simple exercise. Make sure you have about 15 minutes without distractions.
Get an old-fashioned pen and paper.
Settle down in a quiet place for 15 minutes or so.
Jot down anything and everything that could interest you; a passion. Please don’t overthink this; list it! Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it initially doesn’t make sense.
Once the listing is exhausted, circle the passions that most speak to you.
You’ll probably have three to six things circled; these are your passions.
Keep the list and take a photo of it
Armed with your listing, craft a one-paragraph mission statement for each passion. Then, follow that paragraph with action steps that move you toward your passion goals.
Achieving our best self should be the ultimate goal.
When doing our own thing (drinking and drugging), we learned that our lifestyle was not sustainable. We were taking hits relationally, financially, mentally, and physically. We also knew that our disease was progressive. So we got the results per what we put in.
We now know that our sobriety ride is both sustainable and progressive. We have seen clarity and energy sustain with effort and pick up momentum toward healthy rewards if we keep dipping our paintbrush into the right paint.
As we are bound to spill (back-slip), quick corrective action is ALWAYS a possibility. Quickly cleaning the mess up and painting it over does the trick.
In conclusion, there is no better time to start a new masterpiece than the day before us. The time is NOW.- We must find a way to fuel our passion, our purpose.
Doubt, intimidation, and distractions may come our way – but determination and persistence will be our driving mantras.
There are no shortcuts. We do the next right thing but do it in the right direction.
"Don't stop when you're tired. Stop when you're done." David Goggins
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast titled #116 Coffee with Coach Luc…The podcast dropped on 06/14/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.